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April Weather Poem

Oh, hush, my heart, and take thine ease,
For here is April weater!
The daffodils beneath the trees
Are all a-row together
The thrush is back with his old note;
The scarlet tulip blowing; And white-ay, white as my love's throat-
The dogwood boughs are growing.
The lilac bush is sweet again;

Down every wind that passes,
Fly flakes from hedgerow and from lane;
The bees are in the grasses.

And Grief goes out, and Joy comes in,
And Care is but a feather;
And every lad his love can win,
For here is April Weather.

Poet Unknown.
Poem taken from
New York April 1899 Edition

(Family Features) - According to the Farmers' Almanac, this winter will see an increase in "shivery conditions," where temperatures will average below normal for about three-quarters of the nation and snowfall will be significant. Are you and your family winter ready?

With a little planning though, you can protect yourself and your family from the many hazards of winter weather, both on the road and at home.

On the Road:

To help get you started, here are a few tips from the experts at Ames True Temper ( regarding what tools and supplies you'll need to stock your car or truck with this winter:

Tip #1: It's a great idea to pack extra blankets, gloves, hats and scarves to help keep warm in the event of a breakdown.

Tip #2: Keep a stocked first aid kit; this way you are prepared for any injuries.

Tip #3: Keep a windshield brush and scraper at all times for brushing off any ice or snow in the morning, after work or as you need it throughout the day.

Tip #4: Store the compact AutoBoss snow shovel from True Temper, which is ideal for digging out snow if your vehicle gets stuck.  Because of its compact folding design, it won't take up much space. 

Tip #5: Make sure you have salt and sand in your trunk. Both are helpful when a vehicle is having trouble gaining traction or ice needs to be melted.

Tip #6:  Keep plenty of food and water in the event you must wait for additional support or relief.  Be sure to have enough for all passengers.

It's also important to take caution when driving and obey all speed limits and traffic signals. Tune into your local news source to determine the conditions of the roads before departing. 

In the Home:

If you don't have to drive during inclement winter weather, consider remaining home. Here are a few items that the experts at Ames True Temper recommends you keep around the house so that you are prepared for a winter storm:

Tip #1: It's a great idea to lay salt and sand before and after it snows on driveways and walk-ways to prevent slipping and facilitate ice melting.

Tip #2: Make sure flashlights, candles, matches and a battery powered radio are all kept in an easy to reach location so you're prepared in the event of a power outage. 

Tip #3:  Have a snow removal tool like the True Temper SnoBoss to help clear walkways and driveways.  This ergonomic tool will help you accomplish heavy-duty snow removal comfortably and safely. 

Tip #4: It's easier to shovel a couple inches of snow from a driveway or sidewalk and repeat a couple of times than waiting for the full accumulation when a deep snow is predicted.

Tip #5: Make sure your pantries are stocked with grocery staples and maybe a few extra treats to help pass the time and prevent cabin fever!

With these tips, Ames True Temper hopes you have a safe and fun winter.  For more information on snow removal tools, or other Ames True Temper outdoor products, please visit our newly updated website at, or call our customer service line, 1-800-393-1846.

Ames True Temper

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All About Lightning-Stay Safe-Be alert!

I have had 2 members of my family killed by lightning..My Grandfather was struck by lightning and killed while picking berries in a New Bedford field back in 1931.

I lost my cousin   Aug 9th 2003. He was struck and killed by lightning in front of his home, while he was getting his mail  in Boca Raton, Fla...

Please don't  take Lightning lightly.
Heed the Warnings!

National Weather Service
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Geographer Recreates
The Great Louisiana Hurricane of 1812

Newswise: Nearly 200 years before Hurricane Katrina, a major storm hit the coast of Louisiana just west of New Orleans.
Because the War of 1812 was simultaneously raging, the hurricanes strength, direction and other historically significant
details were quickly forgotten or never recorded.

But a University of South Carolina geographer has reconstructed the storm, using maritime records, and has uncovered new
information about its intensity, how it was formed and the track it took.

Dr. Cary Mocks account of the Great Louisiana Hurricane of 1812 appears in the current issue of the Journal of the American Meteorological Society, a top journal for meteorological research.

It was a lost event, dwarfed by history itself, said Mock, an associate professor in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Louisiana was just in possession by the United States at the time, having been purchased from France only years before,
and was isolated from the press.

Mock says historians have long known that a hurricane hit New Orleans on Aug. 19, 1812, but they did not know the meteorological details about the storm.

Hurricane Katrina is not the worst case scenario for New Orleans, as its strongest winds were over water east of the eye, said Mock.

The 1812 hurricane was the closest to the city, passing just to the west. It was not as big as Katrina, but it was stronger at landfall, probably a mid three or four category hurricane in terms of winds.

Detailed information about past hurricanes is critical to helping climatologists today forecast and track hurricanes. But until recently,
little was known of hurricanes that occurred before the late 19th century, when weather instrumentation and record keeping became more
sophisticated and standardized.

Mocks research has shed light on much of the nations hurricane history that has remained hidden for centuries.

A hurricane like the one in August 1812 would rank among the worst Louisiana hurricanes in dollar damage if it occurred today, said Mock.
Hurricane Betsey was 100 miles to the west. Katrina was to the east.

A 1915 hurricane came from the South. By knowing the track and intensity, as well as storm surge, of the August 1812 hurricane, we have another worst case scenario benchmark for hurricanes. If a hurricane like it happened today , and it could happen, it would mean absolute devastation.

Mock has spent the last decade conducting research and creating a history of hurricanes and severe weather of the Eastern U.S.
that dates back hundreds of years. Using newspapers, plantation records, diaries and ship logs, he has created a database
that gives scientists the longitudinal data they have lacked.

His research has been funded by nearly $700,000 in grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Mock began researching the August 1812 hurricane along with other early Louisiana hurricanes in 2006.
It took 18 months for him to reconstruct the 1812 storms complete track.

Newspaper accounts, which included five from Louisiana and 17 from other states, described hourly timing of the storm impact,
wind direction and intensity, rainfall, tide height and damage to trees and buildings.

The Orleans Gazette description of the impact of storm surge on the levees is one example:

The levee almost entirely destroyed; the beach covered from fragments of vessels, merchandize, trunks, and here and there
the eye falling on a mangled corpse. In short, what a few hours before was life and property, presented
to the astonished spectator only death and ruin, reported the newspaper.

The environmental conditions of the Louisiana coast were different in 1812; the sea level was lower, elevation of the city was higher
and the expanse of the wetlands far greater. These conditions would have reduced the storm surge by at least several feet, says Mock.

Some of the most valuable sources to Mocks research were maritime records, which include ship logbooks and ship protests,
records submitted by ship captains to notaries detailing damage sustained to goods as a result of weather.

Ship logs, kept hour by hour, include data about wind scale, wind direction and barometric pressure.

Because of the war, England bolstered its naval presence, providing Mock, the first academic researcher to conduct historical
maritime climate research, with a bounty of records to help him recreate the storm path and intensity.

The British Royal Navy enforced a blockade of American ports during the War of 1812, said Mock.
The logbooks for ships located in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea had all sorts of valuable information.

In addition to 12 British Navy logbooks, he was able to use information from logbooks of the USS Enterprise and another
from an American merchant vessel. Ship protest records from the New Orleans Notarial Archives provided
Mock with some surprising contributions.

I was initially pretty pessimistic on what I would find in the ship protests, said Mock.
I thought I would find a few scraps and be in and out in two days. I was wrong.
I found a trove of material and ended up going back eight times.

Archivists presented Mock with upwards of 100 books for every year, each 800 pages in length and none indexed with the word hurricane.
After scouring the records, Mock uncovered nearly 50 useful items related to the 1812 hurricane, including accounts from
the schooner, Rebecca, which described the storm in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico in a protest that was filed with notary Marc Lafitte.

It described a 4 p.m. heavy gale that increased to a perfect hurricane wind, with the shifting of winds by noon the next day.
The shift of winds from the northeast to the northwest told Mock that the storm track passed to the east of the Rebecca.

Using the logs and protests, Mock was able to correlate the precise location of ships with the hourly weather and create
a map of the storm path through the Gulf of Mexico.

Its initial approach was toward Mississippi, but then it turned northwest toward Louisiana as it approached landfall in
the afternoon on Aug. 19,” Mock said. The USS Enterprise had the most detailed wind observations at New Orleans.
A change in winds to the southwest around local midnight tells me that the storm center skimmed as little
as five kilometers to the west of New Orleans.

To further understand the hurricane formation and dissipation, Mock reviewed records stretching as far north
as Ohio and east to South Carolina. Included among them were meteorological records by James Kershaw in Camden, S.C.,
which are part of the collections of USCs South Caroliniana Library.

I wanted to collect data from a wide area to understand the weather patterns, pressure systems and the very nature of the 1812 hurricane, said Mock. A better understanding of hurricanes of the past for a wide area provides a better understanding of hurricane formation and their tracks in the future.

ID: Volume Size.jpg ID: Fig 1 Final.jpg Mock, C.J., M. Chenoweth, I. Altamirano, M.D. Rodgers, and R. García Herrera. The Great New Orleans Hurricane of 1812. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 91: 1653 1663.

Released: 2/2/2011 9:00 PM EST Source: University of South Carolina

Peggy Binette, Office of Media Relations University of South Carolina 803-777-5400;